Tuesday, July 9, 2019

What makes these awful people think that they are qualified to opine on trans youth?

Linda Harvey - Mission America
Hate group leader Linda Harvey - Mission America
via YouTube
Tuesday, Linda Harvey writes: Medical establishment has betrayed children, parents with transgender insanity. Linda Harvey is an easy target. She is batshit crazy. She is also an ignoramus. Nevertheless, Ms. Harvey serves as an example of Christian zealots trying to alter medical science into conformity with their book. They assume that they have, and then posture to others as having, erudition that they do not possess.

I am not a medical doctor with a board certification in psychiatry either. However, the views I present conform to the overwhelming consensus of medical science including the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“I have a dream ”
In my dream, hundreds of parents, doctors, counselors, and pastors are protesting outside children's hospitals throughout America.

They keep protesting, not just for one day, but for months.

They march in front of Lurie Children's in Chicago, Boston Children's, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital, Nationwide Children's in Columbus, Cincinnati Children's, Children's Medical Center in Dallas and unfortunately, many, many others.

Through faces of anguish, outrage and determination, the spirit of truth prevails. They carry signs with messages like these:
  • "Stop mutilating young bodies!"
  • "Your white coats hide black hearts!"
  • "Gender 'change' is impossible! Stop the abuse!"
  • "Keep Big Pharma hormones out of my child's body!"
  • "Malpractice suits ahead — stop the gender train!"
I will get to Harvey's list shortly but none of those people protesting in Harvey's dreams have a child suffering with gender incongruity. After all, parents determine — in conjunction with their child — what treatment the young person will receive. Treatments require parental consent.

Harvey wants to influence medical institutions and their doctors to deny treatment in accordance with the best science that is available. The wants to determine how other people's children are medically treated which is preposterous.

Harvey disapproves. Ms. Harvey doesn't get a say unless she wants to fund research which gets published to a respectable peer-reviewed academic journal. Harvey disapproves, not because she has any insight into the treatment of gender dysphoria, but because gender-affirmation is at odds with a passage in Genesis. That's right. Children should not receive the best treatment known to medical science because Bronze Age texts of questionable provenance are not inclusive.

As for her list, readers know that I am in routine contact with some of the experts in this field. Aside from being extremely smart and well informed they are passionate about the welfare of children. There are much easier medical fields that are far more lucrative. Nobody is mutilating children's bodies and this has nothing to do with Big Pharma. I am unaware of any malpractice suits in this field.

Ms. Harvey is right about one thing: “Gender change is impossible.” Were that not the case then medicine would have a means of changing someone's gender to align with their natal sex. Thus, there would be no need for anyone to affirm their gender and there would be no transgender people that Harvey finds so offensive.

The underlying stupidity defies explanation. No parent wants a transgender child. Yet their child is suffering with depression and anxiety. Desperate for relief — any relief — their little boy is secretly wearing some of mom's garments. The parents take the kid to a psychiatrist who determines that the child has the required six of eight criteria for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. A second opinion from a separate psychiatrist confirms the diagnosis. The doctors will also determine the severity of the condition. Only about 25% of those diagnosed with gender dysphoria will become transgender.

If the child is in severe distress, the usual professional recommendation is neither drugs nor therapy. Often, psychiatrists recommend a family vacation somewhere distant where the parents will allow the child to experiment with transitioning. Mom, dad and the child are going to see and appreciate the effects. Kristina Olson, the founder of the TransYouth project at University of Washington has said that gender-affirmed children do very well. They have levels of anxiety and depression that are at, or near, normal.

At that point they will return to one of the psychiatrists who might recommend two things: Counseling for the child and parents — together and separately coupled with puberty blockers. This results in two referrals. One to a psychologist and another to an endocrinologist. Each will form independent judgments. With respect to the endocrinologist, puberty blockers will only be administered when parents and the child are fully informed about the effects. They will also know what side effects to watch out for.

The job of the psychologist is to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the fact that a child is about to socially transition. Think about that for a moment. Consider just how much distress a boy must be in to then go to school as a girl knowing full well that she will be the object of ridicule and even bullying. Not only must we appreciate the suffering but it should be perfectly obvious that gender affirmation offers demonstrable relief from their distress.

In other words: Just how fucking stupid does someone have to be to place religion above the best interests of a child? None of Linda Harvey's imagined protesters are parents of trans kids. No. They are other insane Christians who, out of sheer ignorance, want other people's children to suffer. They have been led to believe that either there is a magic bullet or that the kid will grow out of it.

About 75% of the children who have gender dysphoria do, in fact, grow out of it. However, they never transition in the first place because the severity of their condition does not warrant doing so. The remaining 25% become part of the roughly half-percent of the population that is transgender.

On top of the spectacular stupidity is willful ignorance created by a level of intellectual curiosity comparable to that of a wallpaper. If people like Linda Harvey did just a little research absent confirmation bias, they might actually learn a thing or two about the affected children.

Harvey might stop trying to determine what medical treatment other people's children receive. Might. Probably not. When faith drives medical care then one is just a superstitious fool. Harvey is also a bigot because she wants to impose her superstitions on others regardless of the harm that would do.

Stop doing so! Doctors are not harming trans youth. Religious crackpots are harming kids with bigotry and the promotion of pseudo-science.

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